Business Models for Extending Industry 4.0 towards the entire Product Life Cycle (I4L)
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With production systems becoming ever more digital and intelligent (?Industry 4.0?), as well as connected with (smart) products and their users via the Internet of Things (IoT), value chains become increasingly integrated and transparent. The potential for extending product life-cycle management beyond the producers? boundaries and covering the actual quality of products in the use phase (and related maintenance, repair and upgrading services), has significantly augmented. Moreover, smart products also bear the potential for improving a product?s end-of-life phase by facilitating product identification, positioning, take-back and decomposition (and related re-manufacturing and recycling processes). Overall, smart products and the Internet of Things could generate significant economic, environmental and social benefits and contribute to the strive towards a Circular Economy.
Against this background, this project aims at identifying challenges and opportunities of smart products for product life-cycle management, explore innovative business practices (case studies) and explain the consequences of these novel value chain architectures for quality and environmental management (systems) in companies.